Do Coyotes Eat Birds? Birds Beware!

Coyotes, related to wolves, are one of the most versatile animals in North America. They can survive in a wide range of habitats, from deserts to urban areas. These canines mainly inhabit plains, forests, and mountains.

Coyotes, being opportunistic predators and good hunters, are known to prey on anything from rodents and rabbits to deer and livestock. But what about birds? Do coyotes eat them too? Let’s see.

Do Coyotes Eat Birds?

Coyotes do eat birds. As omnivores animals, coyotes can eat both animal and plant matter, but they prefer to eat meat comparatively. And for meat, they hunt land animals more than birds because birds are not easy prey.

Although small mammals make up the majority of their diet, coyotes will take advantage of any available food source, including birds and their eggs, when they have the chance. There is a good reason why these animals are called opportunistic predators.

Ranchers and farmers often get in trouble with coyotes because they have various menus. They can eat from fruits to your pets. However, their favorite food is small mammals such as rabbits, mice, squirrels, and so on. But occasionally, they will also target babies of bigger animals, like lambs and calves.

In the same way, coyotes target birds that are easier to catch, bigger birds that are slower, or the ones with their nests near the ground. Because of this, some species of birds, like turkeys, geese, swans, chickens, and pelicans, are more vulnerable to predation by coyotes than others.

Do Coyotes Eat Hawks?

Coyotes are known to possess the traits of omnivores, opportunistic predators, and scavengers. Their dietary habits are incredibly diverse, allowing them to consume a wide range of food items. So coyotes prey on hawks occasionally, but it is not a frequent occurrence.

Also Read: Do Hawks Eat Foxes?

Coyotes would only target a hawk when it is injured, young and on the ground, or close to the coyote’s reach. Otherwise, coyotes cannot catch a hawk, although they mostly live in the same habitat because hawks are not slow birds.

Do Coyotes Eat Owls?

As both coyotes and owls are mostly active during the night, these two are more likely to encounter, and when it happens, a coyote may catch and eat an owl if provided with the opportunity.

Coyotes could utilize the opportunity when an owl is hunting on the ground by catching it by surprise. Also, coyotes may target old, weak, or injured owls.

eagle and nest with eaglets
Photo by Richard Lee on Unsplash

Do Coyotes Eat Eagles?

Eagles, being apex predators in their food chain, often compete with coyotes over animal carcasses in the wild. But when food gets scarce, an eagle can get demoted from competitor to prey.

But as most eagle species make their nests high above the ground, they and their young are safe. In fact, in some cultures, eagles are called the ‘king of birds’ because they have no natural predators.

A coyote will get lucky only when the eagle is injured, old, weak, and cannot fly properly. However, sometimes an eagle may hunt a coyote too. But this is not very common, and an eagle will never try to do the impossible feat of attacking an adult coyote. They will go after small pups.

Do Coyotes Eat Bird Eggs?

Yes, coyotes eat bird eggs because they are opportunistic creatures and see them as an additional food source.

We know that eggs are high in protein and have other nutritional values, so coyotes will gladly eat bird eggs by snatching them whenever they have the chance. As eggs can’t put up a fight, it will be a convenient and effortless meal.

Coyotes can’t climb trees. So they target bird eggs that are low to the ground. Though they can’t climb, they can jump high whenever there is some motivation.

Do Coyotes Eat Dead Birds?

Of course, yes, coyotes do eat dead birds. That’s why they are called scavengers. Although coyotes would hunt most of their food, they will not let go of any animal carrion they find in their way, and a bird corpse is not an exception.

When food is scarce, and hunting can be tricky in winter, finding dead meat is always a happy meal. Also, it is easier to eat something that is not moving than an animal fighting for its rights.

Do Coyotes Eat Birdseed?

As coyotes are wolf-related animals, they would eat anything they find without any complaints. So, coyotes eat birdseed because it contains many ingredients, such as fruits, grains, corn, seeds, etc.

Coyotes’ food habits and preferences heavily depend upon the season. For instance, when plant sources of food like fruits are more abundant in autumn, they like to spend their time eating fruits and vegetables. And during such time, they may get attracted to bird seed.

Birdseed would also attract many other creatures, including rodents. If you have birds around your house, ensure the birdseed is not accessible and keep the ground clean.

Coyotes may also get attracted to discarded food like trash cans and dog food. So, if you have pets in your house, keeping the food off the ground is advised so that these canines don’t have any reasons to visit your yard.

Also, pick up all the fallen fruits on the ground and firmly close the trash cans in your compound.

Final Words:

Coyotes are not picky eaters like social media celebrities these days, and they happily munch on anything they find. So coyotes will eat all birds and their eggs, whatever their species is, because they are not hypocrites.

But they may not prefer to hunt birds as they are not easy prey, and they have plenty of other options on the ground. A coyote will target a bird only when it’s young, injured, weak or old.


See you in the next one!!

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